Friday, December 19, 2014

Loose Feathers #474

Razorbills / USFWS Photo
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Note: Scientific American recently cut a large number of blogs from its science blog network. Here is a rundown of who is staying and who is leaving.

Environment and biodiversity

Friday, December 12, 2014

Loose Feathers #473

Whooping Cranes follow ultralights leaving Alabama / Photo by Heather Ray, Operation Migration
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, December 05, 2014

Loose Feathers #472

Mallard / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, November 28, 2014

Loose Feathers #471

Great Egret / Photo by Steve Hillebrand (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, November 21, 2014

Loose Feathers #470

Greater Sage-Grouse / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
  • There is speculation that the reintroduction programs for California Condors and Black-footed Ferrets may have driven those endangered species' species-specific parasites to extinction.
  • Scientists investigating the genetic basis for feathers have identified 193 genes that contribute to feather development, and some of them were present in vertebrates long before birds evolved.
  • Fur seals have been recorded sexually harassing penguins and then (in some cases) eating them.
  • New York City has been the entry point for numerous introduced and invasive species, including the ubiquitous House Sparrow and European Starling.
  • Last week, the Gunnison Sage-Grouse was given threatened status under the Endangered Species Act. Whether Greater Sage-Grouse will be listed as well is still undecided.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, November 14, 2014

Loose Feathers #469

Eastern Bluebird / Photo by Bill Thompson (USFWS)
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, November 07, 2014

Loose Feathers #468

Eastern Towhee / Photo by Bill Thompson (USFWS)
Birds and birding
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, October 31, 2014

Loose Feathers #467

Greater Sage-Grouse / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding
  • Swainson's Warblers have been documented nesting in short-rotation pine plantations, which is not the habitat where the species is normally found but which offers a steady supply of breeding habitat.
  • Superb Fairy-wren embryos learn calls from their parents while they are still in the egg.
  • Birds struggle to reproduce successfully in noisy environments because communication is more difficult.
  • A proposed wind turbine project on the north slope of the San Bernardino Mountains has been withdrawn, in part because of the likely impact on protected raptors.
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, October 24, 2014

Loose Feathers #466

Say's Phoebe / Photo by Tom Koerner (USFWS)
Birds and birding
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity

Friday, October 17, 2014

Loose Feathers #465

Ruby-crowned Kinglet / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS
Birds and birding
Science and nature blogging
Environment and biodiversity
  • There is some disagreement over whether the EPA's preferred solution to the Passaic River's pollution is the right approach.
  • A site in New Mexico is releasing huge amounts of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere.
  • Conservation groups are suing to list the wolverine as a threatened species. The main threat to the wolverine is climate change, which will limit breeding habitat for the species.